Bible Study: Isaiah 11:1-16
Today's lesson looks to the life and person of Christ. A prophecy then extends to the future gathering of God's people to Israel.
Isaiah Chapter 11
Lessons from the text
"My Kingdom is not of this world"
When standing before Pontius Pilate, Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world. If it were, His people would fight for His release.
Where, then, is Jesus' kingdom?
As we saw in chapter 9, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. As the Son of God, He is the Prince of Heaven. One day, however, Jesus' kingdom will literally come to earth. In Revelation 11:15, an angel proclaims during the Tribulation Period that the "kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."
The future God describes is terrible. Rivers will be dried up, mountains will be turned into valleys, and many, many people will die in the wars and natural disasters that mark the coming of Christ. But hallelujah, this world will become Jesus' kingdom.
Right now, I do not have access to the literal kingdom of God. That's in heaven. But what a day when this earth becomes the kingdom.
I am not suggesting that the world will get better and better until the day Jesus can come back because we all love and worship Him. This earth will NEVER be heaven. In fact, because of the sin and a broken Creation, all things will be made new (Rev 21:1-2). Then, and only then, will this world be perfect.
What, then, is coming to earth?
Righteousness. Faithfulness. Justice. Equity.
Jesus gives a description of a place where enemies can lie down together, when children can play without any worry of harm. Don't we all long for that perfect society? Don't we all cry out for justice?
God is letting us know that one day, it will be here. Not just inside the heart of believers but also in all the earth (v9). He is showing us the end result to all His labor. He is giving us hope for a bright future.
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Verse by Verse Commentary
1-5 Here we have a description of Christ. We learn that He:
6-8 These verses cover the results of Christ's actions and personage. Noteworthy is that those who were enemies will now be at peace (the wolf and the lamb) and that the innocent shall lead them. No more harm will come to the children of God from the snake (Satan), which is fulfilled through deliverance from death and hell through faith in Jesus Christ.
9 God promises that one day all the earth will know God. This will be fulfilled in the Millennial Reign when Jesus physically rules and teaches the earth from Jerusalem. (See chapter 4 study for details on the Millennial Reign.)
10 God now expands the promise from Israel to include the Gentiles, which is everybody who is not a Jew. Even though I am not a Jew, in Jesus I can have a glorious rest.
11-14 God promises to draw all the Jews that have been scattered among the nations back to their Promised Land. At that time, there will no longer be a division between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms; all Jews will be united as one people.
Arguably, this may have been fulfilled with the establishment of Israel in 1948. However, not all the Jews have returned. Therefore, this may refer to the Millennial Reign when all of God's people will live in Israel and no countries will be able to fight against them.
15 In that day the Nile River and its seven branches will dry up. This supports the interpretation that the prophecy of the previous verses refers to a future time.
16 God will repeat His works of the past, opening a way for those who choose to come out Egypt's bondage into the Promise Land. Egypt represents the world while the Promise Land represents life with God. Just as we are, spiritually speaking, in the Promise Land through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, one day the Redeemed will have the chance to literally be in the presence of God in Israel.
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